When your strategy shifts, you may need to redesign your organization as well.
…We recognized that [our] command-and-control approach [was] outdated. ...We were missing the richness of empowering [our people] to come up with solutions on their own.
In the past, we had really strong policies and procedures, but our model didn’t allow for innovation or empowered customer service.
...Now, the way we do things is different. At the store level, we don’t want employees to simply complete tasks. We want them to come up with new ideas, and new ways of helping the customers.
This requires a big shift in leadership. Our model of the ideal executive has gone from an authoritative leader who could get new stores up and running fast, to an engaged leader who can hold people accountable, develop them, and manage them.
….A big part of the redesign was to help employees understand how this was different from what they did before.
…Under the new system, leaders are evaluated and bonuses are set according to three key critical areas: financial results, team member engagement, and customer service. There’s also a percentage that accounts for community engagement and events…and another component to accountability: managing under-performers.
There’s a huge change-management effort to make sure the initiatives are sustainable, and we’ve spent about US$30 million on training alone, with more to come. However, a year into the implementation phase, the results are promising. In our pilot program, we went from the bottom 25 percent to the 95th percentile in our engagement survey results.
The Gallup Organization, which measured the results for us, actually thought the numbers were wrong because they’d never seen such a big improvement in one year. We’ll have the next results after the full rollout in 2013.